Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari will stop the importation of rice in 2017.
Explaining the reason behind the policy, Ogbeh hinted that the country has enough internal production that could sustain home consumption and meet foreign exchange earnings that could guarantee diversification of the economy.
In order to further boost internal production of the commodity and enhance the country’s comparative advantage in rice and yam production, Ogbeh stated that the federal government would sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) and Ekiti State Government in the two critical sectors.
He unveiled his ministry’s intention to supply ABUAD with 20 tonnes of rice seedlings in the next planting season to boost rice production internally.
The minister, who said these in Ado Ekiti at the weekend during a visit to ABUAD’s farm and the Ekiti State government, added that the current economic recession being experienced under Buhari’s government had helped the federal government to think outside the box and had succeeded in bringing the deserved revolution to the agriculture sector.